Mogwai – The Sun Smells Too Loud

Mogwai release their new LP, The Hawk Is Howling, on September 22nd on Wall of Sound. Today, however they have released a preview of that in this track. The Sun Smells Too Loud continues the Scots’ run of superbly titled, well-tooled instrumental post-rock. Doesn’t carry the Young Team -era menace, and actually sounds quite breezy at times. Something different I guess. I love the page you get the download from: check here.

Of course, I’ve included a link to it on this post too.

Mogwai – The Sun Smells Too Loud

Thanks to The Quietus for the heads-up on this, and for being generally great.

Photo: Base10


Sébastien Tellier at Eurovision!

Last night, watching the musical diarrhoea that is Eurovision I had a massive, pleasant surprise! France’s entry was no other than the brilliant Sébastien Tellier with the appropriately named Divine. A wonderfully tasteful tune, with just the right amount of humour, but clearly not tacky or crap enough to win or even score well. Europe: you have no taste!

It’s a brave move for an established and acclaimed artist, especially as Divine features on Tellier’s recent LP, Sexuality. Perhaps even more brave was the fact that the Frenchman sung in English… It also represents a possible change in strategy for the otherwise floundering Western European nations: do they try and use big name artists like France, or just throw in the towel and not turn up like Austria.

This year’s worst: Spain and Bosnia-Herzogovina!

Sébastien Tellier – Divine

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Fridays FTW #5

Ladytron – Runaway
Beating the pants of everything else this week is this absolute stompfest from the forthcoming ‘Tron LP, Velocifero. After a fair number of listens, this is the most immediate of the tracks, but as happened with Witching Hour, the best track may wait insidiously for months yet. Really looking forward to hearing this bashed out live come May.

¡Forward, Russia! – Seventeen
Went to see this Leeds lot this week at New Slang, and they tore the place apart. As on previous occasions they didn’t provide me with the set highlight I was looking for, Seventeen. Taken from the debut LP Give Me A Wall, this is probably my favourite Russia cut, and for me demonstrates their whole loose-but-tight ethos. So, Whiskas and co, listen up: when I see you next, play this, yeah!

The Cure – Lullaby
Doesn’t need much introduction this. The Cure operating at the top of their game, this was the lead single from the superb LP Disintegration. Struck through with synth stabs, eerie to the core.

Atmosphere – Shoulda Known
Stand-out cut from Minneapolis duo Atmosphere, from their new record When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold. A seriously smooth bassline ebbs under rapper Slug’s lyrical flow, pushing the beats into the background. His rapping style reminds me a bit of Gift of the Gab from Blackalicious, real meaty. For me this is a real find, I only really come across hip-hop by accident, never by searching.

Underworld – Cowgirl
I’m writing this post after traipsing across Central London for a whole day. This is a great wind-down track, made for late night car journeys or plaintive web-gazing. To be honest you could pick any number of Underworld tracks for that purpose, Mmm Skyscraper I Love You, Dark and Long, Dirty Epic, Pearls Girl, they’d all do the job. Bliss.

Ladytron – Black Cat


Ladytron are probably my most highly rated band still in operation. Well, it’s between them and Massive Attack. Imagine my sheer joy when this new track appeared on the Hype Machine’s most popular list. Black Cat is the opener from their fourth LP, Velocifero. Released June 3, it follows up Witching Hour (my fave album of ’05), and by the showing of this track promises a great deal. Similar to Fighting In Built Up Areas this is sung in Mira’s native Bulgarian, but unlike that track this has a greater warmth to it. This could prove a whole new world for the quartet: could the days of icy narratives be gone? Christ I’m looking forward to this album.

Ladytron – Black Cat

Fridays’ FTW #2

This week’s Friday hotties are brought to you on Sunday, in official British Summer Time! 

Lupe Fiasco – Superstar
Caught this on Radio 1’s 1Xtra live thing, and I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t someone completely shit. Catchy as syphilis.

Black Kids – I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You
Roll up, roll up, come see the hype in all it’s glory: Black Kids are here! Decent enough indiepop strumathon, but I just can’t see through the fog of acclaim. A sprinkling of the ‘Spree, a dash of Los Campesinos!, mix well with Florida sunshine and there’s a cocktail ideal for mid-afternoon festival sets, sunshine or not.

Hot Chip – Hold On
A right grower from the Chip’s latest LP Made In The Dark. Although I wasn’t massively enamoured with the record to begin with, I’ve found it difficult to shake this track from my mind following the belting performance on Jools Holland. For any song to still be considered good when it rhymes hell with caramel has got to be going some. Watch the video for some supreme keyboard humping from Joe Goddard…

Saint Etienne – Shower Scene
Another playlist perennial, from the maligned Finisterre LP, bumped up in the order this week. Prime example of what Saint Etienne do best, gorgeous synth pop.

Girls Aloud – Can’t Speak French
Pop music. It’s great, isn’t it? I hate the whole debate whether its ironically good, or plain good. There is great talent behind crafting three minute pop masterpieces, and this group have a pretty enviable track record in pop tunes. This is the latest in their conveyor belt.

Fridays FTW

These are the five tunes that have dominated my stereo habits this week: 

 Neon NeonI Lust U
The catchiest track from Gruff Rhys and Boom Bip’s collaborative Neon Neon project. The album, Stainless Style, is a loose concept record based on the life of Ulster car-maker John De Lorean. He’s the chap that designed and built the Back to the Future car. The album is mainly 80s synth-sheen pop, with exquisite vocal contributions from Rhys, and a host of guests, including Cate Le Bon on this track.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs10 x 10
Last years Is Is EP was a great collection from the noisy trio. Although other tracks from the record grabbed my attention first, this is the one that has remained high up on the playlists. This track has got real strut, tearing through it’s tight riff, teased along by Karen O’s barely-restrained vocals, and attended reliably by the pounded drumkit. The EP as a whole spans the ground between their two full-length LPs and finds it a fertile place, retaining the raw noise of the first and the pained melodies of the second.

The WhipTrash
Highly-hyped, The Whip are indie-dance darlings of the NME. On this occasion, the comic can be forgiven for slipping into hyperbole, this track is simply fantastic. Borrowing heavily from their Mancunian compatriots The Longcut, as well as the NYC brigade (LCD, The Rapture etc.), it is a prime example of how to get this kind of track right. Originally released in 2006, this reissue precedes the full-album release, due next week.

Jimmy Eat WorldSalt Sweat Sugar
Always a pleasure this one, a rousing alt-pop-punk anthem. This was the track and the album that took JEW from ‘spacey-emo’ to rockier waters, as well as being the first I had heard of them. And after loving it first time around I promptly forgot about it, rediscovering the track about six months ago following a YouTube trawl for songs that I could barely remember, this being unequivocally the pick of the bunch.

PortisheadMachine Gun
You disappear for the best part of a decade. You leave behind a clutch of classic songs that helped define a genre. You whip the blogging fraternity into a frenzy by playing ATP. You announce a string of big-venue dates with no new material released to support them. You barely maintain your website. You stand by as your record is leaked to the net. You rule. Third is no disappointment, it is a record that acknowledges that Portishead are famous for a sound, and plays to that sounds’ strengths. It also sounds like a record that has longevity. Good news for fans of a band with a release schedule measured in double figures. Machine Gun is the lead single, released next week.

LCD Soundsystem – Big Ideas

A new LCD Soundystem tune is a big event for this blogger. This one has spread like wildfire over the internet, taken from the soundtrack to 21. The tracklist contains other such luminaries as MGMT, Broadcast, Amon Tobin and U.N.K.L.E. as well as Rihanna’s obnoxiously catchy Shut Up And Drive: a proper guilty pleasure that one. Anyway Big Ideas is more similar to LCD Soundsystem-era Murphy than the more recent stuff, and a darn sight more poppy too. Yes, it starts with skittery high hats and then a suitably flexible bassline joins in the fun, but apart from that this isn’t LCD-by-numbers. It finishes with a glitchy guitar sound, more akin to DFA cohorts Hot Chip, quite possibly Al Doyle’s influence there. Anyway, it is a good track, and nice to see that there is new stuff being produced.

The film borrows the true-story of a group of MIT students who employ a sophisticated card counting system to beat a big casino. I doubt it will be as good as the documentary aired by BBC Horizons last year that featured the actual perpetrators, but still.

Download here / Buy 21 OST here